UCR Authors Jane Smiley and Charmaine Craig to Speak in Los Angeles

Both will participate in the Live Talks Los Angeles arts and culture series on Wednesday, May 10

Professor Charmaine Craig’s newest book, “Miss Burma.”

UC Riverside creative writing professors Jane Smiley and Charmaine Craig will engage in a “public conversation” about Craig’s newest book, “Miss Burma,” in the Live Talks Los Angeles arts and culture series on Wednesday, May 10, at 8 p.m. at the William Turner Gallery in Bergamot Station Arts Center in Santa Monica.

“Miss Burma,” published this month by Grove Press, is based on the story of Craig’s mother and grandparents and is a tale of “love and war, colonialism and ethnicity, and the ties of blood,” according to the publisher’s website.

The BBC named “Miss Burma” one of the Ten Books to Read in May. Amazon selected it as a Best of the Month Editors’ Pick in Literature & Fiction, and Literary Hub listed it as one of the 15 books to read in May.

Elle magazine describes the novel as “An epic roman à clef … [that] masterfully renders the human condition in matters micro and vast . . . Like many of the best books, ‘Miss Burma’ feels rooted in its time and place, while also laying bare timeless questions of loyalty, infidelity, patriotism, and identity―not to mention the globally perpetuated unfair treatment of women.”

Kirkus Reviews describes the novel as “Rich and layered, a complex weaving of national and personal trauma … Craig has written a captivating second novel that skillfully moves from moments of quiet intimacy and introspection to passages portraying the swift evolution of political events as multiple groups and nations vie for control of Burma’s future. Mesmerizing and haunting.”

Craig is an assistant professor of creative writing and joined the Department of Creative Writing in 2013.

Smiley, a distinguished professor of creative writing, is the author of numerous novels, including “A Thousand Acres,” which won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award. Among her most recent novels are “Golden Age,” “Some Luck,” and “Early Warning,” the volumes of The Last Hundred Years trilogy. She also is the author of a series of books for young adults, as well as several works of nonfiction. Smiley received the PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature, is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and has served as lead judge for the prestigious Mann Booker International Prize.

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